In the article “What Does It Mean to Be Well-Educated” Mr. Kohn point out 6 points on being educated. Point 1.The Point of Schooling. (Nel Noddings the professor emerita at Stanford University, urges us to reject “the deadly notion that the schools’ first priority should be intellectual development” and contends that “the main aim of education should be to produce competent, caring, loving, and lovable people.”) I like this quote on the purposes of education. I work in a Christian School the maine goal for us as teachers and coaches is to participate in the development of a well-rounded student so they can learn the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in life. The next point that I would like to discuss is the concept of evaluating people as a whole vs. someone’s education. In this point Mr. Kohn talks about the difference in being well educated and the difference from simply being provided with a poor education. Is there a difference?
I personally believe there are different types of education and not all people learn the same way. In the city that I live in there are many choices for schools from private to public. In some cases people move multiple times to keep their children in the district with the best schools. You must look at the person and where they came from in some families unfortunately education is not a main concern survival as a whole may be. Therefore we must look at the whole person not just the education someone may have. The next point is the absence of consensus, in this point Mr. Kohn discusses what a high school student should know or be able to do. He goes on to talk about the local and state and national standards. Should they all be the same? I believe it would be hard for every state to have the same standards across the board for education.
There are going to be obvious areas where education is valued and areas where simply surviving is important. The district in my area is too large and some of the same standards do not make sense and applied to each town and county. I think that having standards is a good thought but there should be a better way of measuring these standards than simply testing the students sometimes individuals are not very good at test taking. Another important point Kohn discusses is all the definitions used for accommodations and school terms that do not make sense. The concept of seat time, which is the idea of being in a seat for a specific amount of time dose not mean that you are well-educated. Just by setting in a lecture or listening to a new concept doesn’t always mean that you will retain that information that was being taught. The average person forgets or can’t remember what was said to them 48 hours ago.
Another term is the term job skills Kohn states that “It would be a mistake to reduce schooling to vocational preparation, if only because we can easily imagine graduates who are well-prepared for the workplace (or at least for some workplaces)” In this statement he is telling us that someone with just one skill will be at a disadvantage, throughout life because of the way the world is changing with new technology that is making everything move quicker. The idea of test score is a point that interests me as well, just because you scored well on tests does not necessarily mean that you will be able to retain information from what you read. I think that some people have anxiety when it comes to tests specifically those with time limits and the added pressure of scoring well. In some cases teachers are under so much pressure to teach what will be on the test more then the concepts formulas of the material of the class. They are not always teaching what the proper foundations are of the subject. They are required to have certain scores for their classrooms to be successful.
Another interesting point that is made is the Memorization of a bunch o’ facts. Kohn explains, “Familiarity with a list of words, names, books, and ideas is a uniquely poor way to judge who is well-educated.” Just because you can talk about great authors remember some quotes and tell some theories doesn’t mean you are well informed. Kohn also talks about the hierarchy of the graduation process and who is in charge of deciding who passes and fails because of a standardized test. It seams to be problem in multiple states. To be able to graduate you must fit in the required credits courses requirements. “This is disturbing not merely because of the inherent limits of the tests, but also because teaching becomes distorted when passing those tests becomes the paramount goal. Students arguably receive an inferior education when pressure is applied to raise their test scores, which means that high school exit exams may actually lower standards.”
With this statement you can see that Mr. Kohn feels that’s the test scores are not actually relevant to all. He goes on to tell us more about the “Pass this standardized test or you don’t graduate,” If we look at most states we see that they are using curriculum standards to help students graduate with the same standards as others students in other states. Students are learning facts, skills, and sub skills that they are expected to master at the grade level to continue on to the next grade level. The final point Kohn brings about talking about what it takes to be well-educated. Kohn, lists some qualities that are used to help you to succeed. “Schooling is organized around problems, projects, and questions – as opposed to facts, skills, and disciplines.” If teachers can focus on this and apply this to there classroom then knowledge and learning become exciting for the students. “Teachers are generalists first and specialists (in a given subject matter) second;”
With this statement you can see that if you can apply this to your class room that you can succeed and continue to have a great learning environment. Well-educated people have general knowledge of world needed for making rational decisions in personal and intellectual life and basic skills, which develops the analytical ability to order and adapt to the changing environment. With an open mind, which helps to set up new and different goals in life, and with experiences and the skill to analyze and value the others’ ideas or thoughts. In Proverbs 1:7–9. 7 the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 8 Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 9 They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. This verse speaks to the lessons you have learned not only from your parents and the Bible but also from your time in school. Learning never ends to be well-educated you need to have the desire to learn and grow as the world continues to change.
Courtney from Study Moose
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